When talented young writer Jonathan Vail vanishes without a trace on a camping trip, he leaves behind a wilderness journal, and an acclaimed first novel. But questions abound. Has the twenty-three-year-old prodigy been dispatched by thieves? Does his girlfriend, whose version of Vail's disappearance in Utah's Slickrock Canyon satisfies no one, know more about Vail's fate than she is telling? And what of Vail's eagerly anticipated work-in-progress - a new canyonlands journal - apparently lost along with his body?" "Flash forward more than thirty years, when a rock slide reveals a hidden cave near Slickrock Canyon. Vail's body isn't recovered, but the missing journal is. When it is presented for authentication to Claire Reynier, an archivist and rare-books expert at the University of New Mexico's Center for Southwest Research, danger and mayhem suddenly come to anyone who touches the faded spiral notebook or seeks to discover what happened to Jonathan.